Google and Motorola making 'X Phone', report claims

Google and Motorola are cooking up something special, according to a report, and it won't please Samsung...

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Google is freeing itself from the shackles of hardware partners and taking matters into its own hands, making a handset known as the 'X Phone' according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. And once that's done, an X Tablet will follow.

The big G is putting Motorola (which it bought for $12.5 billion) to work on the device, rather than trusting other companies like Samsung or LG. Samsung made the Galaxy Nexus, and LG the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 has suffered stock issues, with Google blaming LG's "scarce and erratic" supplies. LG said the problem was the huge demand. So by taking production in-house, Google should simplify things.

The X Phone is said to be a marquee handset with cutting-edge features, according to the report. It should be out next year. But seeing as hardware isn't Google's speciality, the company has run into some hurdles with supply chain management.

Initially, the X Phone was going to have a flexible screen, according to the Journal's sources, but that's fallen by the wayside. Motorola will also be tasked with producing the X Tablet that follows.

A key focus for the X Phone is improving the camera software. Gesture recognition is also expected to play a big part -- no great surprise, considering Motorola bought Viewdle recently. Lior Ron, who worked on Google Maps, is leading the team on the X Phone.

Dennis Woodside, Motorola's chief executive and former Google bod, didn't give any details in an interview, but said Motorola was "investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different than the current approaches." He promised "big things" were ahead.

He also pointed out that only 1 billion of the world's 7 billion population use smart phones, saying it was "an incredible opportunity." So the X Phone could be very affordable, much like the Nexus 4.

All of which sounds pretty exciting. Where it leaves Google's relationship with other Android phone makers like Samsung, however, I'm not so sure. Microsoft is taking on all its Windows partners with its Surface tablet, and if this report is correct, Google is doing the same. But it's all competition, and that's got to be healthy. Right?

What do you reckon? What would you like to see from a Google/Motorola X Phone? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.